Nicole Saam, Paul W. Thurner, Frank Arndt
Dynamics of International Negotiations : a Simulation of EU Intergovernmental Conferences

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Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung: Arbeitspapiere; 78
ISSN: 1437-8574

Complex negotiations seem indeterminate. In constellations with many negotiation parties, each consisting of internal factions, varying internal decision rules and more or less defined organizational boundaries, bargaining over multiple issues over more than one sequence, make outcomes unpredictable. Despite providing useful abstract representations of such processes, game theory is often limited to highly stylized set-ups. Relying on the behavioral assumptions of the Zeuthen-Harsanyi process model we propose a dynamic simulation model. We explicitly take into account of preferential and informational determinants of governments’ risk attitudes. We empirically confront predicted out-comes with actual negotiation outcomes, using quantitative data for the complex multi-lateral, multi-level, multi-issue negotiation system of the EU intergovernmental conference of 1996, which resulted in the Amsterdam treaty.